If you’re a theatre kid like myself, you probably look forward to that one special day in June, the Tony Awards. They ignite a wave of excitement every year, but when they didn’t take place this summer, I was disappointed but understood why. Turns out they are happening, but just a little bit later.
Because Broadway closed in early March, the season was cut short, meaning there are fewer shows eligible for Tony nominations this year.
As a theatre kid of 15 years and an avid Broadway lover, I feel compelled to tell you my thoughts and predictions for the 2020 Tony Awards. There were a few shows that ended up on top with the most number of nominations.
Jagged Little Pill took the lead for 15 nominations and it’s probably my favourite eligible show. The main cast got nominated and three of them are in the same category, but we’ll get to that later.
Slave Play received 12 nominations and The Inheritance received 11. I haven’t closely followed this season’s plays, but from what I heard from friends and the internet, these plays are the front-runners. Slave Play had the most nominations of any play in history.
The biggest snub was The Lightning Thief. The show was the only new musical eligible for best score. They also could’ve had a nomination for best performance by an actor in a leading role, but instead, Aaron Tveit from Moulin Rouge! The Musical was the only nominee in that category.
In a normal year, I don’t think this massive snub would’ve bothered me as much, but this year was different. Broadway shut down leaving many actors jobless and fans without an outlet for expression. This Tonys season was a year to insight hope in the theatre community.
By snubbing The Lightning Thief, the Tonys likely left a bad taste in the mouths of The Lightning Thief’s young and impressionable fan base.
Now, for my predictions, covering the major award categories.
Best choreography should go to Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui for Jagged Little Pill. The choreography in this show is something I’ve never seen in a Broadway show before.
Maybe I’m biased towards Jagged Little Pill, but I’ve never seen a show like it. Between the backwards scene with Mary Jane or the raw emotion in almost every single scene, it has my vote for the best direction of a musical category.
Best direction of a play will probably go to The Inheritance. This play is a two-part show. In total, it runs six hours and 25 minutes. Anyone who can direct such a long play will get my vote.
Though I’m not the biggest fan of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, they might take the best costume design in a musical category. Slave Play or A Christmas Carol will likely take the play equivalent category for their exquisite costume design.
The category that I’ve been struggling with who I’m going to vote for is best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical. I’ve loved Robyn Hurder since I first saw her in Chicago in 2014, but I might have to give my vote to one of the Jagged Little Pill nominees. Lauren Patten is going to take it for me because I still can’t get over her voice in “You Oughta Know.” For plays, I’m hoping to see The Inheritance’s Lois Smith take this since she is 89 and definitely deserves a coveted Tony.
For best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical, I would love to vote for Derek Klena for Jagged Little Pill because I’ve loved his work, but Sean Allan Krill’s performance in Jagged Little Pill moves me to tears every time. If I voted for anyone besides Krill, I’d be lying to myself. For a play, David Alan Grier for A Soldier’s Play is a likely winner.
For best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical, my vote goes to Elizabeth Stanley for the sheer amount of times she can make herself cry in Jagged Little Pill. Whoever can do that without physically exhausting themselves deserves a Tony. Aaron Tveit better win the actor equivalent of this award. He deserves it. Give him the 60 per cent.
Audra McDonald, from Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, will probably take best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play. For the actor, I’m assuming Tom Hiddleston will take it for Betrayal. One year ago, when I walked by the theatre in New York City, nearly a hundred fans stood outside chanting “Tom!”
Best revival of a play will probably go to Betrayal or A Soldier’s Play.
The big categories of the night will be best play and best musical. I think Jagged Little Pill or Moulin Rouge! The Musical will take best musical. I think it should be Jagged Little Pill but I’ve heard some huge advocates for Moulin Rouge! The Musical to take it. Best play will either be Slave Play or The Inheritance.
I didn’t think there’d be a Tonys, let alone be predicting them right now. This year has showed everyone that we can’t take anything for granted, even something so substantial like live theatre.